John VanDerKloot hails from a world bursting with creativity — his mother is a painter and art teacher, and his father is a film producer — influences that led him to pursue a degree in fine arts. But a study abroad program in Sweden focused on furniture design tuned his interest in industrial design. Now he’s combining his keen eye for aesthetics and an inclination toward critical problem-solving in his work at THRIVE.


After receiving a BA in Fine Arts from Georgia College and State University in 2012, VanDerKloot started building a portfolio in design before landing at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he earned an MFA in Industrial Design as well as an MA in Design Management, gaining an understanding of the “why” in addition to the “how” of design. “I really like the research aspect of design; investigating the connection between what people need and what the product will accomplish,” John explains.


While John played rugby in undergrad, these days he’s more into a quick, pick-up game of basketball in his downtime. Working with THRIVE also brings John back to his hometown, a place that has changed in myriad ways since he left for his post-collegiate internships and graduate studies. “Everything is so different now, so I’m taking the time to rediscover the place I grew up and get to know Atlanta all over again.”